Wednesday, September 30, 2009

4-Season Gardening

I've been part of a community garden this summer, but before we even started, a local farmer came to talk to the six of us. "There's the spring garden, the summer garden, and the fall garden," he said.

We were particularly glad to hear about the summer garden since we had already missed the spring garden by a wide swath. It was July 1st when the first person planted the first seed. Well, she'd been nurturing squash plants, cucumber vines, and tomatoes in pots on her patio. She was really happy to put those babies in the ground.

And, by the way, i was really happy that she planted her extra butternut squash seedlings in my 9x12 plot.

By August, she had bought herself a small freezer in which to put her abundant harvest.

In my vegetable garden at home, i'm just now clearing away the summer vegetables in anticipation of the first frost. Suddenly, i see the fall garden that's been hiding underneath and behind all that green and browning camouflage. Rainbow chard, carrots, beets, broccoli, and kale. One pumpkin vine has run amok, twisting around the garden like intestines and i have the best pumpkin crop i've ever had. Gourd vines have wound themselves over the back fence, so i have a good supply of seasonal decorations.

Spring, summer, fall. There is even a winter garden. Two years ago, my 7-year-old granddaughter wanted to go dig something out of the garden for dinner the day after Christmas. So there we were at 5:00, flashlights in mittened-hands, digging up leeks and parsnips. A voice called to us through the dim evening, and my gardening neighbor, Connie, snowshoed up to see what we were doing. Gardening in the snow, of course.

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